People from Taiwan should be aware of “risks” relating either to incurring gambling debts or to working in the Philippine gaming sector. These included the possibility of either kidnap or exposure to other crime against the person, reported Taiwan’s Chinese-language news outlet Central News Agency, citing remarks from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office – a representative mission in the Philippine capital Manila (pictured).
According to Taiwan media, the office has intervened throughout 2019 – with the assistance of Philippine police – to protect 12 Taiwanese that were respectively alleged victims either of unlawful detention, kidnap or beating linked either to gaming debt repayment issues or labour employment disputes with Philippines-based gaming companies. There were a further 11 similar cases in 2018.
For the first 11 months of 2019, the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group reported a total of 42 cases of abduction linked to scenarios involving either bricks and mortar casinos or Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). Most cases – 36 in total – were related to the casino sector; while the remaining six were related to POGOs, according to the police data cited by the media. The majority of the victims and suspects was Chinese nationals.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines has called for “prudent consideration” on the part of people from Taiwan who might be interested in working in the gaming business in Philippines, the Central News Agency cited the office as saying. The office has also urged people from Taiwan to check if their prospective employer – including entities claiming to be legally-licensed POGOs – are indeed licensed.
In a separate development, the Philippine gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, said in a Monday press statement that it had that day ordered POGOs to “impose a 10-day quarantine on all newly-hired and returning employees from countries with reported novel coronavirus cases”.
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